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Durham e-Theses
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Faith in literature: a study of some critical writing in the field of theology and literature from 1950 to 1982

Jagger, Ian (1986) Faith in literature: a study of some critical writing in the field of theology and literature from 1950 to 1982. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis investigates some of the connections between the two disciplines of Theology and Literature. It asks, for example, what is the relation between the kinds of faith characteristic of each? It begins with an overview of some of the major critical writing in this field since 1950, especially in the anthologies edited by Abrams (1958), Scott (1964) and Gunn (1971). The thesis also draws on the Journal of the American Annual Conference of Christianity and literature. It contrasts the conservative and liberal perspectives of Leland Ryken and Giles Gunn and identifies where each characteristically places value and weight in the debate. It examines sympathetically the theories of Giles Gunn and Frank Kermode concerning the place of anexistential faith in literature, and the function of literature as a source of personal and social meaning. It investigates the various elements of narrative which by their very form have religious or theological reverberations. It concludes with a critical study of Bellow's Henderson the Rain King as a way of earthing the analysis. The thesis begins as an exploration but soon identifies as of most interest those arguments which give literary method a place within the whole sense-making experience of man. The theological interest of the thesis is probably in the hermaneutical function of literature for the individual and for society, and the discovery, in literature, of faith and existential belief as an authentic response

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1986
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 May 2013 14:10

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